“Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes — Labor Day Specials!”

Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, the end of summer was marked by the Labor Day Holiday Weekend, with the following Tuesday always the first day back to school. Times have changed, with so many school districts now restarting early to mid-August.

So, Little Red Bear thought it might be a good idea today to dedicate this week’s recipe selections to the coming Labor Day Holiday next week, in order to give you the week to gather ingredients and be ready ahead of time for the weekend.

Our inbox overflowed with autumn pumpkin recipes this week, and “Mickey’ Not-So-Scary Halloween Party” already started at Disney a few days ago, but we are going to hold off on autumn things in lieu of one more taste of summer before heading into the annual Fall Pumpkin Rites of Passage.

If you are new to our Sunday morning recipe sharing and missed the first Little Red Bear Recipes Post explaining what we are doing, simply tap on the link to check it out.

So, in honor of Labor Day next weekend and the end of the summer season, here are some notable summer recipes, a few sides and a few treats, that we found to savor the flavors of Summer one more time!

Apple Cranberry and Almond Cole Slaw

This cole slaw is made with Gala Apples, Cranberries, and Almonds, using mostly Greek Yogurt instead of mayonnaise for a healthy and delicious twist on an old favorite. And incorporating apples and cranberries, this slaw will transfer right into the coming fall and holiday seasons, as well.

Apple Cranberry and Almond Cole Slaw Recipe

Barbeque Spice Roasted Potato Nuggets

These Potato Nuggets, seasoned with your favorite barbeque dry rub, are a perfect accompaniment to any dish coming off the grill — steaks, burgers, barbequed chicken, and more.

Barbeque Spice Roasted Potato Nuggets Recipe

Berry Feta Spinach Salad with Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing

If not up for Cole Slaw, this salad makes a beautiful and delicious dish for company, with festive strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.  Oh — and did I mention that it also features Candied Pistachios?

Berry Feta Spinach Salad Recipe

Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches

Okay, so your Labor Day Weekend plans don’t include stay-at-home barbeques or dinners with friends. You’re going to be out and about enjoying the last holiday weekend of summer. Awesome — we’re right there with you! So how about some lighter fare?  These delightfully fresh Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches perfectly fit the bill and are amazingly good.  Little Red Bear and I used to do sort of the same thing on Ritz crackers — a spread of cream cheese, a cucumber slice and sprinkle of dill weed on top for appetizer snacks. Little Red Bear and I skipped the Seasoned Salt in the recipe, but kicked it up a notch by stirring a packet of Good Seasons’ Zesty Italian Dressing Mix into the cream cheese first.  Oh, so good. The dill weed is what makes it! But if you do not have fresh dill weed, no worries. The dried dill weed seasoning is still amazing with this.

Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches Recipe

Red, White & Blue Cheesecake Cake

Company is coming for dinner and what to do for dessert?  A cheesecake? Or a traditional cake? Around these parts we love both, so why not put them together? This patriotic colored Red, White & Blue Cheesecake Cake will be a holiday showstopper any time of year! And it is simply a layer of cheesecake sandwiched in between tinted layers of vanilla cake.

Red, White & Blue Cheesecake Cake Recipe

Patriotic Flower Pretzel Bites

Speaking of patriotic holiday themes, Little Red Bear and I both loved these Patriotic Flower Pretzel Bites as wonderful side treats for parties and get-togethers.  But here is where we got creative. With the recipe calling for Red, White & Blue Holiday M&Ms to make the flowers, we figured that we could use any holiday-themed M&Ms for a neat holiday side dish treat any time of year — the Halloween mix colors for a Halloween party, blue and white for Hanukkah, the green and red blend for Christmas, red and white for Valentines, and so on. So while this recipe is patriotic themed, it could be adapted for just about any holiday party or event. It’s also a recipe that the kids would have a blast making up for you, too! And, have you ever enjoyed the white chocolate covered pretzels?  If not, you’re in for a treat. And if so, well — you know what we’re talking about here!

Patriotic Flower Pretzel Bites

Indoor S’Mores

S’Mores are a summertime and autumn favorite, roasting the marshmallows over an open fire or the remaining hot coals from the barbeque. But what to do if it rains?  Make them indoors, of course!  Little Red Bear loved this recipe because it let him have yet another treat to make up in his cast iron skillet.  This is a baked-in-the-oven S’Mores Dip for dipping the graham crackers into while staying dry out of the rain. No reason to miss out on the S’Mores due to inclement weather any longer, and the kids will love the great dipping action and fun! But a caution — don’t let anyone lick the leavings from the skillet until it’s properly cooled down though.  Ain’t that right, Red?

Indoor S’Mores Recipe

As a bonus, if wanting to stick to a Patriotic theme and to keep in mind for next year’s Memorial Day and Independence Day holidays, here is a fun recipe for an American Flag S’Mores Dip, too. The marshmallow colors come from red, white and blue sprinkles which form a crystallized coating when baked in the oven. The recipe also includes a link to a Rainbow S’Mores Dip, prepared in the same manner, perfect for Easter and other times.

Fresh Glazed Peach Pie

I was able to get some fresh peaches from the local market this week and they were delicious, so thought this Fresh Glazed Peach Pie a perfect late summer treat.  The glaze, using peach-flavored Jello, works to keep the peaches fresh. This recipe is perfect for Little Red Bear and me, using a prepared pie crust to keep it simple and quick for the holiday weekend.  And as readers are aware, Little Red Bear is a biscuit champion, but cannot make a decent pie crust to save his soul. And with an achy back, I don’t want to bother.  So the prepared crusts work great for us!

Fresh Glazed Peach Pie Recipe

If you enjoy these new recipe features, please tap the Like button below and feel free to Comment and let us know, and we will be on the lookout for more interesting and fun recipes to share with you each Sunday morning as we go along.  And remember, all of these recipes are added each week to our “Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes” board on Pinterest for you to access anytime.

If you have a family favorite or vintage recipe that you would like to share, please snap a photo and send it along to us. We’ll be happy to add it in for the benefit of others.

Thanks as always for spending part of your day with us!  And as we head off into a new week, paraphrasing what Henry Ford said — the person who thinks they can and the person who thinks they can’t are both right.  Which will you be?   – Jim (and Red!)


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                         “One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.”                   – Henry David Thoreau

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